Nebraska 3 vs Kentucky 0- 27-25, 25-20, 25-16
Kennedi Orr started in the place the injured Nicklin Hames has been starting. Hames is out with an injury. Nebraska used the 6-2 offensive system so Anni Evans entered the match three rotations later. This is notable because during the first set especially, sets were inconsistent and in unexpected locations. This got better as the match went on but also much get better and be non existent as the season goes on. Set location needs to be there.
Hitters were off balance and not able to approach the ball with full steam because of the inconsistency. This led to a hitting percentage hovering around .200 for most of set 1. This is much lower, .100 points, than NU wants. Nebraska finished the match hitting .302 as a team. Set three was .361 efficiency.
Surprisingly, Kentucky served to Lexi Rodriguez, the best passer for Nebraska. The passing was great whenever Rodriguez touched the ball. This was a tactical error by the Wildcats.
Lindsay Krause was essential in set one. She started slow in the Creighton and Stanford matches. She really didn’t start making a consistent impact until the end of each match. Today she had four kills on seven attempts hitting .444 in set one. Those four kills each came in a clutch moment. Set one game ball goes to Krause.
Set two was back and forth and both teams stayed within one until Nebraska pulled away at 22-17. Kentucky made errors in setting, hitting and digging as Kenzie Knuckles served. Knuckles caused problems with her extreme short serving to give Nebraska the lead the ended the set with a 25-20 score.
The tone for set three was set by a pass to kill by Knuckles. Knuckles then went behind the service line and began to cause more problems for the Wildcats offense. Knuckles wasn’t trying to surprise anyone with her short serves.
Knuckles was serving short to force a passer to enter in the area where Kentucky wanted to run attackers. Kentucky players ran into each other, passed balls over the net and had to change play calls. That was a short serving clinic.
Nebraska got better as the match went on. Hitters were more efficient as sets became more consistent and defensive players let very little hit the floor. Nebraska set the middle hitters more, still not the balance they need but much improved. Kaitlyn Hord finished with 5 kills on 12 attempts and Bekka Allick with 5 kills on 8 attempts.
Whitney Lauenstein continues to impress. Today she had 11 kills on 27 attempts for a .370 efficiency. She added three blocks to the win. The team had 10 blocks compare to Kentucky’s three team blocks. This was a whole team effort and a good showing for the Huskers.
Next up for Nebraska is Michigan State on Friday and Ohio State on Saturday at home to start the conference schedule. Check here later this week for a full look at the teams in the conference. Lots to report on B1G teams. One note: #5 Ohio State lost in three sets to #12 Pitt today.